When to Request an Interpreter:
When a participant in a meeting, discussion, training, or event requests a sign language interpreter; or
When you know that deaf individuals will be attending a meeting, discussion, training, or event (e.g., a graduation ceremony where some of the students have deaf parents); and
When a sign language interpreter is necessary to effectively communicate the information in the meeting, discussion, training, or event.
Informing the Public:
It is important to provide a mechanism for deaf individuals to request interpreters from agencies and to advise deaf individuals that they need to provide no less than 5 business days’ notice.
Fliers and web postings for events, meetings, and outreach programs must provide a statement that informs residents and consumers that if they are in need of a reasonable accommodation (such as sign language) they must notify "_______________ [contact person and contact information] to make the request no less than 5 business days prior to the event.”
The Request Process:
- Sign language interpreters must be requested by the agency involved.
- Requests directly from participants will be referred to the agency.
- Agency should complete the Sign Language Interpreter Request Form
- Please allow at least 5 business days in advance of the event (we will attempt to arrange interpreters on shorter notice, but cannot guarantee availability)
- Submit the form to the Office of Disability Rights.
- Email (preferred): [email protected]
- Fax: 202-727-9484; or
- Mail: 441 4th St., NW, Suite 729 North, Washington, DC 20001
- Contact ODR with questions:
- Main number: (202) 724-5055
- ODR will contact the agency for additional information if needed
- ODR will approve or deny the request and notify the agency
- Agency should notify the client
- ODR will arrange the interpreter(s)
- ODR will submit evaluations to the Agency and the Client
- The Agency will pay the cost of the interpreting services pursuant to the contract. In addition, the Agency is responsible for all cancelation costs – including if the resident or consumer canceled the request.
NOTE: If ODR is unable to fulfill the agency's request, you can find alternative resources here: https://odr.dc.gov/node/411772.
Contact the Office of Disability Rights:
Main Number: (202) 724-5055 or [email protected]